THIS BLOG is created by the Arts & Media Archaeology team at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA, UAntwerp) and associated colleagues. We want to offer a peek behind the scenes of our research, including visits to unique archives or remarkable private collectors, seminars with international speakers, media archaeological experiments, and inspiring cases. Our aim is to showcase the varied and challenging nature of our research process.

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Preserving impressions of the fair. Digitizing the graphic collection of the Markt- und Schaustellermuseum in Essen

“Auf dem Markt fing alles an!” – “It all started at the market!”. That was the motto of the former Markt- und Schaustellermuseum in Essen, Germany.  The museum, which unfortunately closed in 2021 after 25 years, showed that the precursors of our modern-day doctors, pharmacists, bankers, trading companies, marketeers and recruiters, as well as artists, musicians and show people often earned their daily bread at the local fairs. Given the relevant scope of the museum and its rich body of sources, a research trip to Essen by SciFair researchers was a priority, especially since the variety of museum objects was being sold following the COVID-19 pandemic. By launching a digitization campaign, we aimed to preserve the important iconographic collection to facilitate further research.

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Tricksters, scammers, imposters and frauds: a tale of all times?

Why do we seem to be simultaneously obsessed and outraged by people who lie,…

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Exotism and politics on the big screen: Colonial magic lantern shows in Belgium

At a time when few Europeans travelled to the African continent, the public…

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An image speaks a thousand words

A Nigerian medical student went viral when he shared an illustration of a black…

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This blog is an initiative of the Arts & Media Archaeology team at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (UAntwerp) and associated colleagues.

We study the circulation of science, knowledge and visual culture through popular entertainment in the long nineteenth century. How were science and technology introduced to large audiences? What forms of knowledge were transmitted and disseminated through popular culture? What role did visual media play in the circulation of knowledge? At the same time, we look at how this culture continues to affect us today with attention to the changing relation between art and science.

Our interdisciplinary team brings together artists and researchers from Art and Performance Studies, Media Archaeology and Cultural History. We share an interest in the interactions between performance, science and technology, and their media archaeological entanglements.